Is "while there" OK?


Elkanah faithfully took the family to the religious feasts located in Shiloh, where the Tabernacle resided. While there, Peninnah laughed at Hannah and mocked her barrenness.

edited Dec 17 '13 at 21:22 Susan Contributor

1 answer



(1) Functional Response and (2) Response to your Question.



Most modern linguists would probably say that "while" cannot act as a preposition; however, I would say this is the easiest and most understandable analysis:  "while" is the preposition, "there" is the object of the preposition.

That being said, "while there" is what most experts would call and elliptical adverb clause.

An elliptical clause leaves out some of the essential words in the clause because they are understood.

In other words, you are saying the equivalent of:

"While she was there, Penninah laughed..."


Ultimately, though...


It doesn't matter if you consider this to be a prepositional phrase or a dependent adverb clause:

Either way, it has the funtion of an adverb (whether it is a clause or phrase) and is properly constructed.

link comment edited Dec 18 '13 at 03:59 Aaron Prejean Expert

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